Elena Suponina is the advisor to the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. Previously, she was the founder and director of the Institute’s Middle East and Asia Center. Her research interests include cooperation between Russia and the Middle East, mediation and conflict resolution, and counterterrorism. For 15 years she worked for the Russian foreign ministry. She has met and interviewed eminent world leaders, including presidents, heads of governments, foreign ministers and ministers of petroleum and energy industries, heads of intelligence agencies and political parties. Suponina has received many international awards for best publications in the areas of Islam in Russia, Russian–Arab cooperation, and international policy. She was also given an award for courage from Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its previous president Evgeny Primakov.

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